Today we’d like to introduce you to Cynthia Morales.
Cynthia, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My career as a microblading artist started in October 2017. I had joined some friends at our favorite wine bar where she shared that she had her eyebrows microbladed at a well-known salon in Los Angeles. I told her they looked amazing and asked her how much she paid for them. When she told me, my jaw dropped! I remember saying “you really paid that much?!” And she said, “Yes girl….it’s worth it!” That’s when the wheels in my head started turning. I KNEW I could easily learn how to do microblading given that I had 7+ years as a graphic designer and spent some time at NYX cosmetics learning the tricks of the trade when the eyebrow makeup trend exploded.
So I immediately did my own research on microblading training, what it took to start a business in permanent cosmetics, startup costs, market outlook, etc. About 2 weeks later, I booked my class and was 100% driven to build my brand and business. I practiced on latex for a month each day until I could lay down the stroke patterns without thinking about it. It wasn’t until then that I felt I was ready to work on human skin. I started doing a couple people’s brows for free, just to get my first portfolio pieces going, and gradually increased my prices to what they are today, which are still very reasonably priced.
I started working from a shared studio I was subletting part time from an aesthetician in Huntington Beach, but the commute was killing me. I am still a full time graphic designer in Commerce, CA and would drive down to Huntington Beach for my evening brow appointments. Then I’d drive home to Long Beach around 11pm, just to do it all over again the next morning. It was taking a toll on me so I started emailing local Long Beach Salons to see if they were interested in teaming up to offer microblading services in their salon. That’s when I got called by Olympia from Vanguardia Hair Studio. It has been amazing having my studio only a half mile away from home.
My whole drive and passion behind starting my microblading career was to find something that allowed me to break away from the 9-5 grind, making someone else rich on my time. It wasn’t so bad when it’s just my husband and I, but we’re thinking of having a family and can’t stand the thought of spending most of my life with coworkers and traffic, than with my own family. This is what gives me the motivation to keep going. I don’t need or expect to be rich with money, but I hope to gain back my time to spend it with what and who I love.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It started off really great! I started in October and it seemed everyone was getting in line for the brow procedure. I was so booked that sometimes I wished to have a break but kept going because I knew word of mouth was very important as well as getting every opportunity to take a new before and after shot for my portfolio.
However, as soon as the holidays ended, there was a lull, and then a surge again, and then another big slow down around July 4th. Sometimes I worry about how long it will be until my next appointment but Olympia, the salon owner, told me that is the nature of the business. There are highs and lows, so be sure to accept all the highs at full force because you never know when the low will hit again or for how long. I feel the market is also saturated with microblading artists. Not everyone is talented, so I hope my competitive pricing and skillset is enough to keep the business chugging along.
I try and stay pretty active in my marketing efforts such as running promotions and boosting posts on Instagram and Facebook. This month on Saturday August 25th, I’ll be a vendor at a bridal show at the Redondo Beach hotel to market my services to future brides. I am also sponsoring a local high school student for her drill team expenses in exchange to have a business banner put up on high traffic corner on their football field to face the city. I always remain optimistic that my skill and marketing efforts will continue to pay off.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Brow Expressions by Cynthia is a private permanent makeup studio specializing in microblading, micro shading, and combo blade & shade eyebrow procedures. Microblading is a manual method of implanting pigment in hair-like strokes in the top layer of skin to create the look of fuller brows. The natural-looking results are achieved with a sharp, hand-held manual blade. Whereas traditional tattooing uses needles on a rotary/coil machine to push ink 7 layers deep into the skin, microblading only implants ink on the first 3 layers of skin. This results in sharp, crisp strokes, and mimic the look of real hair. The treatment lasts anywhere between 1-2 years based on your skin type, and how well you follow your after care.
What I am most proud of is my integrity in making sure I did all the necessary research to offer a legitimate, licensed, and health inspected studio to operate in and not just settle to do it out of my home. There are so many microbladers out there that aren’t following strict hygienic protocols to prevent cross contamination of blood borne pathogens. It is scary to know that the industry doesn’t crack down harder on these practitioners. Another thing I am proud of is that most of my clientele comes 90% from referrals alone. That says a lot when people feel comfortable enough to tell their friends and family about their experience with me and recommend them to get their brows done by me.
What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was kind of an odd ball. A little bit of a tomboy, and didn’t care if my socks matched. I would purposely wear different colored bright socks to look more like a rebel. I was shy for the most part, but wasn’t afraid to be myself and was content on having few friends who accepted me for me. It never really mattered to me to fit in with the cool kids. Too cool for the weird kids, to weird for the cool kids.
- Microblading Procedure – $350
- Powder Shading / Ombre – $350
- Combo Blade & Shade Brows – $400
- Touch Ups $50-$175
- Address: 4405 E. 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90814
- Website: www.browexpressionsbycynthia.com
- Phone: 909-200-8485
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @browexpressionsbycynthia
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/browexpressionsbycynthia/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/brow-expressions-by-cynthia-long-beach